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Portugal itinerary 10 days

Welcome to the oldest country in Europe. Portugal is located on the Iberian peninsula. Together with Spain, it attracts visitors with some of the most unique places, rich history, culture, and delicious food.

I visited Portugal for 3 weeks and explored it from the north to the south. I also did Camino Portuguese until the Spanish border (Caminha). So, I’ve created this itinerary based on my travel experience in Portugal.

We’ll explore its hidden gems during this 10-day itinerary, drink a lot of coffee and wine, visit religious sites and natural wonders, and sunbathe on its southern coast.

Let’s hit the Portuguese roads together!

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Portugal Itinerary 10 Days: Overview & Map

Here is an overview of this itinerary and what you can expect:

DAY:DESTINATIONTRANSPORTATION
1.PortoNone
2.From Porto: Day Trip To Douro ValleyOrganized Tour
3.From Porto: Day Trip To Viana Do CastelloCar Rental
4.Porto ⇒ FátimaCar Rental
5.Fátima ⇒ LisbonCar Rental
6.LisbonNone
7.From Lisbon: Day Trip To SintraTrain
8.Lisbon ⇒ Portimão (Algarve)Car Rental
9.From Portimão: Day Trip To Carvoeiro & BenagilCar Rental
10.Portimão ⇒ FaroCar Rental

Interesting Facts About Portugal

💡 Portugal is the world’s largest producer of cork

💡 Piri-Piri sauce comes from Portugal

💡 It’s home to one of the most important pilgrimage centers, Fátima

💡 Portugal used to own a large part of the New World and was a very powerful country thanks to its sailor’s expedition (Vasco de Gama & Fernão de Magalhãesa were the most famous)

💡 Fernão de Magalhãesa is believed to be the first sailor who made a journey around the world

💡 Portugal is the surfer’s paradise

💡 It has beautiful beaches, but the ocean is actually freezing

How To Get To Portugal: Where To Start This Itinerary

Our itinerary starts in Porto, my favorite city in Portugal. It’s the easiest city to get to in the country. Depending on where you’re traveling, you can reach Porto by plane, train, or bus.

Flying To Portugal

If you’re visiting Portugal from overseas or a distant European country, the best way is to fly to Porto. It offers great flight deals. Check out Skyscanner and book your tickets to Porto to make this itinerary.

Get the best flight deals on Skyscanner by clicking this link.

Getting To Portugal By Train

Another great way to reach Portugal, Porto, is by train. This is the best option if you’re somewhere else in Europe and love train travel. The European train system is perfect, so you can get the most out of it this way.

I always look for my train tickets via Trainline as they have the best deals.

Check out Trainline for the best train tickets to Porto.

Getting To Portugal By Bus

You might consider taking a bus if you’re visiting Portugal from Spain. However, it’ll take a long time, and the best bus connections run only between bigger cities. See the best bus connections to Porto via Busbud. It’ll show you various bus companies with prices so you can compare and choose the right connection for your trip.

Click here to find the best buses on Busbud.

How To Get Around Portugal

The best way to get around Portugal is by car or bus.

I recommend renting a car for some parts of this Portugal itinerary. You can also take a train for day trips from cities such as Porto and Lisbon. You don’t need a car in bigger cities like Lisbon and Porto, as you’ll either walk or use public transportation.

Renting A Car

For this itinerary specifically, renting a car for days 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10 is best.

You’ll rent a car in Porto and use it for days 3, 4, and 5 until you arrive in Lisbon. Then you can return the car to Lisbon. After, you’ll rent a car in Lisbon again for days 8, 9, and 10 and return it at the end of this road trip in Faro.

This way, you’ll save money on transportation as you don’t need a rental car in big cities such as Porto and Lisbon.

Rent a car here and get the best deals.

Getting Around By Train

Note that the train doesn’t run to many destinations in Portugal. Without a car, it’s better to plan your itinerary using buses.

But if you really want to experience train travel in Portugal with this itinerary, you can take a train from Porto to Viana do Castello on day 3 or on day 7 from Lisbon to Sintra to visit the Sintra National Park.

Getting Around By Bus

Alternatively, you can get around Portugal by bus, which is manageable even on this Portugal itinerary for 10 days.

You’ll easily get by bus to Fátima from Porto (day 4.), Fátima to Lisbon (day 5.), and to Algarve, Portimão from Lisbon on day 8.

Buses also run around the Algarve. However, they’re less frequent and 100% reliable. So if you want to have a great time in the Algarve, I recommend renting a car for the 3 days you’ll spend there (from Portimão to Faro).

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How To Get Around Portugal On This 10-Day Itinerary

To sum it up, this is how I recommend you get around Portugal on this 10-day itinerary:

DAY 1. + 2. No transportation needed (Porto)
DAY 3. + 4. + 5. Rent a car in Porto (on day 3.) and return the car in Lisbon (on day 5.)
DAY 6. No transportation needed (in Lisbon)
DAY 7. Take a train to Sintra (day trip from Lisbon to Sintra)
DAY 8. + 9. + 10. Rent a car in Lisbon (on day 8.) and return it in Faro (on day 10.)

0. DAY: ARRIVE IN PORTO

We’ll start our Portuguese road trip in the second biggest Portuguese city, Porto. It’s also one of my favorite cities in Europe. And I am sure you’ll fall in love as well.

Stunning bridges and views, River Douro, the best wine, and delicious food are what Porto is all about. So, let’s explore it during the next two days.

Interesting Facts About Porto

💡 Dessert wine Porto comes from Douro River Valley and River Douro flows through Porto

💡 One of the bridges in Porto was designed by Gustave Eiffel

💡 The city was never conquered and therefore got a nickname ‘Invicta’ (in Portuguese language: ‘que nunca for vencido’)

💡 The Latin name for Porto is ‘Portus Cale’, from which the entire country, Portugal, was named

💡 The citizens of Porto are called ‘Tripeiros’: when soldiers went on an expedition to conquest Ceuta (which is nowadays a Spanish autonomous community in northern Africa), locals in Porto brought everything they had to support them, including meat. Eventually, residents only had Tripe for food. As a result, others started to call them ‘tripeiros’, and they accepted this nickname with pride

Portugal itinerary 10 days Douro River Porto
Douro River – Porto

Where To Stay In Porto: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

215 BY LOVELYSTAYbudget-friendly apartment
RIBEIRA DOURO HOTELmid-range hotel
GA PALACE HOTEL & SPAluxury hotel

1. DAY: PORTO

Today, you’ll have the chance to explore this wonderful city. The next day, we’ll make an excursion to the Douro River Valley, tasting some delicious wine.

For now, let’s head to the city.

Sightseeing In Porto

🔅 Igreja do Carmo
🔅 Livraria Lello
🔅 Clerigos Tower
🔅 Sé do Porto
🔅 Claus Porto
🔅 Palácio da Bolsa
🔅 Cais da Ribeira
🔅 Luís I Bridge
🔅 Mosterio da Serra do Pilar
🔅Wine Cellar Tour

We’ll start our walking tour of Porto in the northern part of the city and slowly make our way down to the Ribeira district and Douro River. Follow the sights as you read to get the most out of the city.

Portugal itinerary 10 days Porto
Visiting Porto

🔅 Igreja Do Carmo

It’s my favorite church in the city. The reason is the stunning blue and white azulejos that complement its facade. It’s a baroque church from the 1760s.

In front of it, there is usually a market selling various leather goods. This adds an even more unique atmosphere to the church’s small square.

🔅 Livraria Lello

The library is inside a building which is more than 100 years old. You’ll be amazed by the curved wooden staircase and stained glass skylight. J.K. Rowling used to come here very often as it became her favorite spot when she lived in Porto as an English teacher. It’s located on the Rua das Carmelitas.

🔅 Clerigos Tower

The tower was actually built on an uneven street, so give some tribute to its artists, climb those 255 steps, and enjoy the views of the city from above. It’s 75 meters high and provides some of the best views.

Then, walk alongside the São Bento train station towards the cathedral.

🔅 Porto Cathedral – Sé Do Porto

Even though the cathedral has faced several damaging events, it still keeps its original structure from the 12th century. The cathedral has had several styles throughout the centuries, from Gothic to Baroque or Romanesque.

It even holds some secrets and mysterious stories. But you’ll have to visit it yourself to hear them. 

After your visit, go down to the old town and walk through the bustling streets with cafes and shops. Finally, stop at the Claus Porto.

🔅 Claus Porto

Claus Porto is a local brand for soaps that has been enriching the city with its fragrances for over 130 years. You can see and buy various products and also learn about its history.

🔅 Palácio Da Bolsa

Palácio da Bolsa is one of the majestic buildings in Porto. Admire its rich sculptures, frescos, tiles, and chandeliers, and relax on the grass.

After, stop by the São Francisco Church, the last Gothic monument in the city. Then, continue to the Ribeira riverside.

🔅 Cais Da Ribeira

The riverside of Porto and Ribeira district prides itself on colorful houseslively streets, and delicious food. Take some time to walk through and enjoy its special atmosphere before you make your way to the Luís I Bridge.

One thing you can’t miss is to walk on the upper part of Luís I Bridge. So, from Cais da Ribeira, go up to the bridge, walk through the Gaia district, and enjoy the stunning views.

Porto city
Porto city

🔅 Luís I Bridge

This arched metal bridge opened back in 1886. It was built by German engineer Théophile Seyrig, who cofounded the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It’s 45 meters high and connects the Gaia district with the Ribeira district of Porto over the River Douro.

You can walk on the lower and the upper part of the bridge. This takes us to the other part of Porto, Gaia. It’s time to eat one of the best franceshinas, a local specialty. 

Eat The Best Franceshina

best franceshina in Porto Portugal
Best Franceshina in Porto, Portugal

Gaia district is the less touristy one, and it’s the reason for the best food and local specialties. You’ll also find one of the best franceshinas in the city in this district. It’s a traditional Portuguese sandwich from Porto with cured ham, sausage, and roasted meat, topped with melted cheese and beef sauce.

PRO TIP: Go to the Café Avenida for the best Franceshina in all of Portugal.
Address: Av. da República 300, 4430-198 Vila Nova de Gaia

🔅 Mosteiro Da Serra Do Pilar

For me, the city’s best views and River Douro were from Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar. It’s located in the Gaia part and is the best place to watch the sunset. Honestly, I was amazed by the beauty from here.

After, you can take the Teleférico de Gaia, which will take you down to the riverside, where Port wine cellars are located. Then, walk on the other riverside and taste local products at the markets.

🔅 Wine Cellar Tour

A visit to Porto can’t be complete without seeing one of the Porto wine cellars. You’ll learn about the history of Porto production and its brand and get to taste a glass of some of the most delicious dessert wines in the world.

After you can walk on the lower part of the Luís I Bridge back to Cais da Ribeira and enjoy the rest of your evening in Porto.

Check out this wine cellar guided tour including Porto tasting.

Where To Go Shopping In Porto

When you have time, make your way to the Bolhão district and do some shopping. I recommend stopping in the Pérola do Bolhão shop. It’s a traditional grocery store in Porto with typical goods such as tea, coffee, spices, nuts, etc. The branding is unique, so it can be a nice souvenir from Porto.  

Porto Guided Tour

Portugal itinerary 10 days Porto guided tour

Book this guided tour of Porto and visit its hidden gems with a local. Taste delicious products and get further travel tips.

Douro River Cruise

Portugal itinerary 10 days Douro River Cruise Porto

Check out this Douro River Cruise and pass through the 6 bridges alongside Porto. Learn about the history of Porto and get the best views.

2. DAY: PORTO & DOURO RIVER VALLEY

Good morning to Porto. I’ll make the morning for you even better today… because we’ll eat perhaps the most delicious croissant in the world. So, if you don’t want to do it now, save it for the afternoon, but make sure you check out that bakery.

Breakfast At Confeitaria Mauricia

For breakfast, I recommend you go to Confeitaria Mauricia. It’s in the Matosinhos part of Porto, slightly far away from the center, but I believe it’s worth getting these croissants.

best croissants in Porto Portugal
Best croissants in Porto, Portugal

But enough food. Let’s explore the Douro River Valley today. We’ll make a day trip through the Douro River Valley.

Douro River Valley Excursion

You’ll make a day trip to the Douro Valley today, where the most delicious wine grapes grow. You’ll visit several wineries, learn about the local productions, and taste the best wine in the region.

This tour also includes a traditional lunch. Ultimately, you’ll enjoy a 1-hour boat cruise on the River Douro with stunning scenery.

Check out the tour and book it by clicking on the box below:

Douro Valley Wine Tour

3. DAY: DAY TRIP TO VIANA DO CASTELO

For the next 3 days, starting today, you’ll need to rent a car.

Today, we’ll drive north from Porto, visiting a beautiful city full of history and stunning beaches. It’ll only be a day trip from Porto so you don’t always have to change accommodation.

In the morning, get into your car and drive up to Viana do Castelo.

Distance Porto ⇒ Viana Do Castelo: 1 hour by car (74 km/46 miles)

When arriving, you’ll be amazed by the city’s icon, its impressive Santuário de Santa Luzia, built on the top of the hill. Drive directly to the city and start exploring.

The city has some of the most unique architectural styles in Portugal. So walk through the city and see it for yourself.

Sightseeing In Viana Do Castelo

🔅 Praça da República
🔅 Santa Casa Da Misericórdia
🔅 Santuário de Santa Luzia
🔅 Gil Eannes Ship
🔅 Praia da Amorosa

🔅 Praça da República + Santa Casa Da Misericórdia

Start your walking tour in the center of the old town, Praça da República. It hosts a city hall from the 16th century and a beautiful Renaissance fountain.

After, check out the Santa Casa Da Misericórdia with thousands of sculptures. See how many you can count. The building was designed by the same craftsman as the fountain. It used to be a hospital and a church in the past. Nowadays, you can just admire its unique exterior.

🔅 Santuário de Santa Luzia

The highlight of Viana do Castelo is undoubtedly Santuário de Santa Luzia, with an impressive basilica built on the top of the hill. You can take a funicular that will take you from the city to the top. Or you can walk, which will take about 15 minutes uphill.

This sanctuary inspired even Sacré-Cœur in Paris. Admire its huge rose windows, the biggest on the Iberian peninsula, fresco paintings, sculptures, and altar.

Viana do Castelo Basilica with sea views
Viana do Castelo Basilica

The scenery will leave you speechless. You’ll see the entire city and the Atlantic Ocean around you. So take some time to appreciate it.

The sanctuary is magnificent at night when it’s lightened. Seeing those lights in the city is so magical, so I recommend you go again in the evening when it’s dark.

🔅 Gil Eannes Ship

Once you’re back in the town, walk through its tiny streets towards the port. Here you have to see the Gil Eannes original hospital ship. It used to support trawlers fishing cods in the waters around Greenland and Newfoundland.

It still has some original equipment onboard, such as x-ray machines. Later in the 20th century was this ship also used for breaking the ice and mail transportation.

PRO TIP: You have to try the local specialty, Bola de Berlim. Go to the traditional shop Manuel Natário in Viana do Castelo and buy some for the beach (coming soon). Get both vanilla as well as chocolate flavors. They’re absolutely delicious.

Praia Da Amorosa – Beach & Kite-Surfing Paradise

In the afternoon, I invite you to the beach and surfer’s paradise. Get back to your car and drive to the nearby beach, Praia da Amorosa. This beach just blew my mind when I visited it.

You’ll immediately feel freedom and be filled with positive vibes when you stand on it. Hundreds of kite surfers come here to try their latest tricks and train daily. Others come here for drinks, watch them, and enjoy the atmosphere of this beach.

Praia da Amorosa Kite Surfing beach
Praia da Amorosa: Kite Surfing beach

And, of course, you can also swim. Don’t miss out on walking on the beach, feeling the wind in your hair, and the free atmosphere. It’s truly amazing.

In the evening, get back to Porto and have dinner in the center or next to the port.

4. DAY: PORTO ⇒ FÁTIMA

Good morning to Porto.

Today, we’re visiting Fátima, one of the most religious and special places in Portugal and the entire world.

Distance Porto ⇒ Fátima: 2 hours by car (196 km/121 miles)

Fátima

Fatima became famous thanks to the Virgin Mary (Mother of God) apparition to three shepherd’s children, Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucy, back in 1917. She told them about the Immaculate Heart, Christ’s love towards people, and the rosary. Altogether, she appeared 6 times between May and October that year.

The main character of this story is Lucy, who was trying to spread the message of the Virgin Mary to local authorities, but nobody believed her. They thought she was lying, perceived it as a criminal offense, and wanted to imprison her with the other two siblings.

The local priest, who didn’t believe it, told Lucy that he had to see a miracle of the sun. If it does not happen, he’ll be sure she is lying about these apparitions.

Lucy told the Virgin Mary what had happened. So, for the people to believe her apparitions, she came for the last time in October and made the miracle of the sun.

Apparitions Of Virgin Mary

Throughout all apparitions, Virgin Mary revealed three secrets about Fátima, about which you can read in another article.

During one of the apparitions, the three children saw hell. This was just an illustration of what it looks like after death if you commit too many sins during your life on earth. This was meant to be a warning to humanity and a message to give people direction on how they should live and behave to each other.

Portugal itinerary 10 days Fatima
Fatima

Nowadays, Fátima is one of the most popular religious and pilgrimage destinations globally. So many people, religious and even non-religious, come here to pray.

I only have to admit – this place is truly special and the atmosphere is unforgettable. We slept right below the cathedral, and it was just so magical. You have to experience it yourself. I mean, not the sleeping exactly, just visiting this unique place and its basilica.

Sightseeing In Fátima

🔅 Sanctuary of Our Lady Fátima
🔅 Chapel of the Apparitions
🔅 Museum Home of Jacinta & Francisco

🔅 Sanctuary Of Our Lady Fátima

It was here where the Virgin Mary appeared to the three children, and the Miracle of the Sun happened in October 1917. According to the sources, locals standing on the grass saw the sun dancing in the sky. So, this is how they finally believed that the Virgin Mary came.

Nowadays, it’s the Sanctuary of Fátima with a beautiful Basilica de Nossa Senhora do Rosário (Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary).

🔅 Chapel Of The Apparitions

The chapel is in the middle of the square in the sanctuary. It was built exactly on the spot where the Virgin Mary appeared. Many people come here to pray and light candles for their wishes and prayers to come true.

🔅 Museum Home Of Jacinta & Francisco

A short distance from the town of Fátima is the museum of Jacinta and Francisco. It’s inside the house where they lived. Lucy lived elsewhere then, but it’s just a few steps from the museum, so you can also visit her house.

You’ll experience the rural life of Portugal and what it looked like in the 20th century. Visit the home of three children that will take you back in time into their lives.

Soak up as much of the unique atmosphere in Fátima as you can. Enjoy the evening and walk within the sanctuary when fewer people and the basilica is lightened. It’ll be a special moment during your road trip.

Where To Stay In Fátima: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

HOTEL SANTA MARIA
HOTEL DOM GONCALO & SPA
STEYLER FATIMA HOTEL

5. DAY: LISBON

It’s time to see Portugal’s capital. Take your time in the morning, have a good breakfast, and drive to Lisbon.

Distance Fátima ⇒ Lisbon: 1 hour & 30 minutes by car (126 km/78 miles)

Lisbon

Welcome to Lisbon, one of the oldest cities in Europe. You wouldn’t believe that the city was almost entirely damaged by an earthquake in 1755 once you see its beauty nowadays.

The town has this traditional and, at the same time, modern vibes that make it so unique.

The city is famous for its black-and-white stone pathways and public squares. It’s like you’re walking on a stunning stone carpet in the middle of the city. They are officially called Portuguese pavements.

Portugal itinerary 10 days Lisbon
Me exploring Lisbon

You should also know that you’ll be walking in the ancient Roman city. Romans were the first to inhabit the city, and there has been a whole underground city center since then.

It only opens to visitors a few times a year. So I hope you’ll be the lucky one to explore it. I wasn’t when I visited the city. 😀

Besides, you’ll be constantly surprised by its art street. Combining ancient buildings with modern street art and graffiti makes the city very special.

Lisbon – City Of Bridges

Lisbon is the city of bridges. It hosts the second-longest bridge in Europe, the Vasco de Gama bridge (12 km long). The longest European suspension bridge is also located in the capital of Portugal, the 15th April Bridge, which connects the other side of the land over the River Tagus.

Speaking about symbols, there is another one Lisbon has: ravens. Lisbon’s Coat of Arms pictures two ravens holding and guiding a ship in the sea. And there are many of them in the city alone, which you’ll experience.

Let’s look at what you need to see in this wonderful city within the next two days.

👉 READ ALSO: Is Lisbon Safe For Travel? 23 Safety Tips

Sightseeing In Lisbon

🔅 Castelo de Sao Jorge
🔅 Alfama District
🔅 Portas do Sol
🔅 Lisbon Cathedral
🔅 Pra do Comercio
🔅 Santa Justa Lift
🔅 Rossio
🔅 Ride Tram 28
🔅 Praça Luís de Camões
🔅 Nostalgic Tram Ride Calhariz – Bica
🔅 Time Out Market

🔅 Castelo de Sao Jorge

The first thing I recommend you do in Lisbon is visit its castle. It’ll give you a basic understanding of Lisbon’s and Portuguese historyMuslims started building the castle until it was conquered by the first King of Portugal in 1147.

Later, it became the Royal Palace for Portuguese kings. When the Spanish Crown united with the Portuguese Kingdom, the castle got more of a military function. Learn more about the castle during a tour and enjoy stunning city and sea views.

🔅 Alfama District

After visiting Lisbon’s castle, stay in the Alfama district, one of the oldest ones in the city. Just stroll through its streets and count how many trams you can see. It’s also a great place to buy some souvenirs.

🔅 Miradouro Portas do Sol

Miradouro translates to English as a viewing point. And Portas do Sol is one that you have to visit. The views are stunning; you can admire its decorations with azulejos and a massive tree next to the main street. It’s also one of the best spots for photos in the city. After, start descending to the city.

Portugal itinerary 10 days Lisbon views
Lisbon views

🔅 Lisbon Cathedral

It’s the oldest church in the city, which has survived several earthquakes. Its official name is Santa Maria Maior Church. You can explore several Arabic, Muslim, and Medieval remains and a treasury inside.

🔅 Praça do Comercio

The Commercial Square in Lisbon has been the principal trading point of the city throughout history. Like other city attractions, the square was damaged by several earthquakes and a tsunami.

In the middle, you’ll see a statue of King Dom Jose I, who survived one of the major earthquakes in 1755. One thing you should do here is to visit one of the city’s oldest cafes from 1782. Maybe it’s also time to try your first pastel de nata.

🔅 Santa Justa Lift

Walk from Praca do Comercio through the main shopping street. Next, you must try Lisbon’s specialty, pastel de bacalhau (traditional cod pastry). After, continue walking until you reach another important square, Rossio.

On the way, you’ll see another famous attraction, Santa Justa Lift. It connects Baixa Street (where you’re now) with the upper Chiado district.

🔅 Rossio

It’s officially called Praca Dom Pedro IV, named after the soldier king Dom Pedro IV, whose statue you’ll see in the middle. Rossio is the train station where you can get to Sintra, but more about it later.

Walk towards the Dona Maria National Theatre and visit A Ginjinha shop after turning left. Here, you need to try a delicious local cherry-like liqueur.

🔅 Ride Tram 28

Like San Francisco, Lisbon is known for its traditional yellow tram lines. However, there is one special, the iconic tram and another symbol of Lisbon.

It starts in the Martim Moniz Square and will drive you to the old Alfama. This ride can’t be missing from your sightseeing list. So from the Ginjinha shop, walk to the Martim Moniz Square, hop on tram 28, and make this famous round trip back to the same square.

Lisbon trams
Lisbon trams

🔅 Nostalgic Tram Ride Calhariz – Bica

After the ride, walk back to the Santa Justa lift, which will take you to the Chiado district.

Then continue walking until you reach Praça Luís de Camões, where you must try another Portuguese delicacy – bifana. The best place is the bar ‘O Trevo’. 

Make a quick stop there, then continue to the Bica – Lg. Calhariz. Take the nostalgic tram ride down to Bica.

🔅 Time Out Market

In the evening, I recommend you go to the Time Out Market and eat some delicious food.

If you’re a seafood lover, I highly recommend having dinner at Ramiro Restaurant. Try local seafood specialties such as crab, langouste, and more.

Lisbon Guided Tour

Lisbon guided tour

Book this guided tour of Lisbon and see the city’s highlights with a local. Learn about the history and get more travel tips.

Where To Stay In Lisbon: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

INN CHIADO PRIME SUITESbudget-friendly apartments
CARDAL DE SAO JOSEmid-range apartments
HOTEL BRITANIA ART DECOluxury hotel

6. DAY: LISBON & BELÉM

Day 6 of our Portugal road trip itinerary awaits us with another important landmark of Lisbon. Besides, you’ll keep exploring Portuguese cuisine and eat the most delicious pastel de nata ever.

Have a good breakfast in the morning, but leave some space in your stomach for the pastel de nata. You’re gonna want to eat them all.

Once you’re ready to explore, head to the city. We’ll visit the oldest part of Lisbon today, Belém. It has a rich history and the best pastel de nata globally (not joking).

How To Get To Torre De Belém

First, take a tram or a metro to the Torre De Belém stop, just a 3-minute walk from Torre de Belém. Alternatively, you can take a tram that stops at the Largo Da Princesa and then walk 8 minutes to the tower.

If you want, you can take a tram to the stop Hosp. Egas Moniz and walk on the river promenade, feeling the fresh ocean air until you reach the Torre de Belém. I highly recommend this walk; it’s wonderful. Or you can also rent a bike to get there faster.

Torre De Belém

Torre de Belém deserves special attention from the entire Belém district of Lisbon. That’s why I’ve left it for our second day in the city.

Portugal itinerary 10 days Lisbon Belem and pastel de nata
Lisbon – Belem & Pastel de Nata

It was originally built as a ship replacement to protect the shore from possible attacks. Later, it became the starting point for all sailors and discoverers from other parts of the world, among which Vasco de Gama was among the most popular. In addition, for some time, it also served as a prison.

At first, admire the mixture of Moorish, Mudejar, Romanesque, and Gothic architecture and various symbols of maritime discoveries. Then, tour the tower, learning more about its history, Portuguese ocean expeditions, and discoveries.

Pastéis De Belém

Pastéis de Belém is the shop where they sell the best pastel de nata in the world. You can try thousands of them, but no other will taste like the ones in this shop.

That’s because they make it according to the traditional recipe, which has been kept secret.

Order some pastel de nata with coffee or tea inside the cafe, and enjoy. Or take some with you and eat it on the grass next to the tower or in a park nearby.

Book this Pastel de Nata cooking class – you’ll learn how to make Pastel de Nata with locals. It’s so much fun.

Jerónimos Monastery

The monastery was ordered for construction in 1469 when Portugal was in its best time of the Age of Discovery. Just after Vasco de Gama, a Portuguese sailor, returned from his voyage, he discovered India. Nowadays, you can visit his tomb inside the monastery.

King Manuel I then built it as a gesture of thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary that she kept him safe on this discovery.

The monastery was originally named ‘Monasterio de Santa Maria de Belém.’ It was renamed after the monks, who came as the king invited them to pray inside for the country’s future and its successors.

FUN FACT: These monks invented traditional pastel de nata. They used a huge amount of egg whites to starch their clothing. That’s how they were left with so much egg yolk and eventually invented this delicious Portuguese treat.

Jeronimos Monastery
Jeronimos Monastery

Sanctuary Of Christ The King

The statue was built at the request of the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Don Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira. He went to Brazil, and after seeing Jesus’s statue in Rio de Janeiro, he fell in love with it and wanted one in Lisbon, too.

He started fundraising for its construction after WWII. As people were grateful to God for keeping them from the horrors of the war, they donated significantly.

The statue is situated in Almada, on the other side of the river. You can reach it through the Bridge on April 25. Or you can also make a boat trip. Just take the boat from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas.

To reach Sanctuary of Christ the King, you’ll have to take a boat from Cais do Sondre and get off at Cancilhas small port.

Tomorrow, we’ll make another great day trip. After, we’ll continue down to southern Portugal, Algarve, its stunning beaches, ocean walks, and incredible scenery.

7. DAY: SINTRA

Today, we’ll travel from Lisbon to Sintra, the paradise of unique castles and beautiful beaches. We’ll also make it to the most western point in Europe.

So pack something in the morning and set off as early as possible. This way, you’ll make the most of the day. Also, the sooner you’ll be in Sintra, the less touristy it’ll be.

For today, you can decide whether you want to drive from Lisbon to Sintra or take a train. There is a direct train from the Rossio station in Lisbon.

However, if you want to visit the beaches and the most western point in the afternoon, having a car will make your trip much easier. So decide for yourself.

Distance Lisbon ⇒ Sintra: 40 minutes by train (33 km/20 miles)
Distance Lisbon ⇒ Sintra: 34 minutes by car (33 km/20 miles)

Sintra National Park

Welcome to Sintra, the town that used to play a major political role and hosted a court back in the Portuguese monarchy. Nowadays, it’s considered a romantic town. I would say it is a fairy-tale place.

From the beginning, it’ll attract your attention with colorful castles full of rich history and stunning views.

Sintra Castles You Should Visit

During your visit, you can explore the following castles:

📍 Pena National Palace
📍 Castle of the Moors
📍 Quinta da Regaleira
📍 Sintra National Palace

I highly recommend doing this castle tour right away in the morning to avoid tourist crowds. Afterward, you can head back to the city, have lunch, and continue to Cabo da Roca and Portuguese Riviera.

📍 Pena National Palace

Pena National Palace belongs to the 7 wonders of Portugal. It was built in 1838 by King Ferdinand II in a similar style to the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. But Pena Palace is older. It soon became his summer residence. Besides its Disney outlook, you’ll find many features of Moorish, Rennaisance, and even Baroque architecture.

As it’s one of the most visited sights in Portugal, I recommend getting skip-the-line tickets. You can get these below the image.

Portugal Travel Voices of Travel
Pena National Palace, Sintra

📍 Castle Of The Moors

You can walk further up to the Castle of the Moors ruins, which was enlarged after the Reconquista. It’s even higher on the hill than Pena Palace, with incredible views. These ruins give you a nice view of the Pena Palace.

📍 Quinta Da Regaleira

This castle was ordered by a Brazilian businessman, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. He mainly focused on a business with coffee and stone. Quinta da Regaleira was soon born during his visit to Portugal, thanks to his stone trading. It reflects his passion for Masons, Knights Templar, and Divination.

During your visit, you’ll explore ornate benches and stone walls and walk on the spiral staircase leading down to the two initiation wells and sanctums. It has a truly mysterious atmosphere. See what you can find in the sanctums, where several tarot ceremonies were held in the past.

Portugal itinerary 10 days Sintra National Park
Me exploring Sintra National Park

📍 Sintra National Palace

After visiting the three castles, return to Sintra town, where you can check out the Sintra National Palace. It’s the oldest one in the town and the best-preserved of all. It used to be a residence of royalty between the 1400s and 1700s.

Best Things To Do In Sintra

Besides visiting castles, Sintra has a lot more to offer. So, you can stay longer than a day if you want and explore more.

Here is a list of the best things to do in Sintra for you:

🔆 Old Town of Sintra
🔆 Sintra Sightseeing Tour On Tuk Tuk
🔆 Cabo Da Roca
🔆 Praia Da Ursa (beautiful beach)

🔆 Old Town Of Sintra

Take some time to walk through the old town of Sintra and its tiny cobbled streets. Look for souvenirs and visit small boutique shops. Then, get some lunch before you continue driving towards the ocean.

After lunch, return to your car and drive to the Portuguese Riviera.

🔆 Sintra Sightseeing Tour On Tuk Tuk

Driving tuk-tuk in Sintra is quite common. I did it myself and it was so much fun. If you want, you can do a guided sightseeing tour of Sintra on tuk tuk as well.

Check out this Tuk Tuk Sightseeing tour for 1 hour – it’ll take you everywhere in Sintra (incl. palaces).

Or rent this E-Bike and tour Sintra with its palaces by yourself.

🔆 Cabo Da Roca

We’ll first visit Cabo da Roca, the most western European point. It’s marked with a big stone monument with a poem that says:

‘Where the land ends, and the sea begins.’

Watch the beautiful Portuguese coastline, the vast ocean before you, and its waves crashing into the steep rocky cliff. Just take some time and enjoy those stunning views. Thanks to such scenery, it’s also been considered the end of the world.

Walk towards the lighthouse that has been there since the Age of Discovery.

I must say, it’s one of the most stunning places I’ve seen in my life.

Portugal itinerary 10 days Cabo da Roca Atlantic Ocean
Cabo da Roca, Atlantic Ocean

🔆 Praia Da Ursa

What I also highly recommend you visit is Praia da Ursa. It’s one of the most beautiful (if not the most beautiful) beaches I’ve visited so far. Even though there are many people, it’s still worth seeing.

The only way to get there is to walk about 50 minutes from Cabo da Roca. You’ll walk alongside the coastline with incredible views before descending to the beach. Stay until late afternoon, then go up to the cliff again to enjoy the sunset.

We (with my boyfriend) slept on Praia da Ursa when visiting it, and it was magical. Watching the sunset and waking up early in the morning with the sound of waves. After, we went swimming for a while, and it was an unforgettable experience.

Praia Da Ursa
Praia Da Ursa

Organized Excursion To Sintra (From Lisbon)

Portugal Sintra National Park Voices of Travel

Book this guided tour to Sintra from Lisbon. It Includes:

Pena Palace
Sintra
Cabo da Roca
Cascais

8. DAY: PORTIMAO

It’s time to head to one of the most popular Portuguese regions – Algarve. Southern Portugal should never be missed by travelers visiting the country. Everybody finds something in this region, whether it’s for beautiful beaches, sports, stunning cliffs and rock formations, delicious food, or rich history.

Today, we’ll drive from Lisbon to the southern coast of Portugal. Our destination is Portimão.

I suggest taking it easy today. In the morning, set off and drive directly to the city. Then park your car, check in to your accommodation, and head straight to the beach.

Distance Lisbon ⇒ Portimão: 2 hours & 55 minutes by car (285 km/177 miles)

Portimão

Portimão has those typical beach vibes and is a popular place for vacation. It has a nice seaside promenade with many shops, restaurants, and bars. Its beaches are vast and stunning.

So walk through the promenade, sunbathe, swim, and have some delicious food. In the evening, stop in a restaurant to have dinner.

This day is somewhat relaxed, and it’s your opportunity to enjoy the Portuguese coast, ocean, and the vibes.

Tomorrow, we’ll continue exploring its beauties.

PRO TIP: Head to the beach the next day early in the morning to walk alongside the coast. The atmosphere is so magical, only a few people are there. You’ll have the best chance to listen to the ocean waves and enjoy this place to the fullest.

best Algarve beaches Praia dos Careanos
Praia dos Careanos

Beaches In Portimão

Staying in Portimão, you can go to the following beaches:

  • Praia Dos Três Castelos
  • Praia Dos Careanos
  • Praia Da Rocha

My favorite beach in Portimão is Praia Dos Três Castelos. It’s long with stunning rock formations and caves, and the access to the sea is shallow. It’s the beach you see in the photo above.

Praia Dos Careanos is a smaller beach, so if you want to enjoy more tranquility, this is where to avoid crowds.

Praia Da Rocha is the main beach in the city. It’s also the busiest, offers many sunbeds and access to the sea is easy.

👉 READ ALSO: 17 Best Algarve Beaches In Portugal

Where To Stay In Portimão: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

RR HOTEL DA ROCHAbudget-friendly hotel
B02 APARTMENT WITH POOLmid-range apartment
TIVOLI ALVOR ALGARVEAll inclusive resort

9. DAY: PORTIMATO ⇒ CARVOEIRO & ALGAR DE BENAGIL DAY TRIP

You can’t miss walking on the stunning Carvoeiro Broadwalk when you’re in the Algarve. It’s a beautiful coastal wooden pathway with amazing views. You can get lost in the limestone rocks and their caves.

This walk starts in Carvoeiro on the coast and leads to Algar Seco, famous for stunning rock formations and caves in limestone.

Today, as a day trip from Portimão, we’ll do this beautiful boardwalk and visit one of the top places in the Algarve, Algar de Benagil Cave.

So in the morning, drive to Carvoeiro.

Broadwalk From Carvoeiro To Algar Seco

The walk from Carvoeiro to Algar Seco is pretty short, just 600 meters. But it easily extends for a longer time thanks to those stunning views.

Algar Seco is one of the most admired cliff formations on the southern coast of Portugal. It’s a limestone pinnacle called ‘A Boneca,’ which in English means ‘a doll.’ The seaside resembles a doll, and the two cave arches form this doll’s eyes. Check out if you can see it as well.

Once you reach Algar Seco, take the stairs and get lost in those hundreds of beautiful caves with coastal views and crystal-clear blue ocean waters.

Portugal itinerary 10 days Algarve Algar Seco
Algarve – Me exploring Algar Seco

Drive From Carvoeiro To Benagil Beach

Once you visit Algar Seco, you can walk back to Carvoeiro. Take some time to enjoy local cafes and restaurants. Have some drinks and delicious Portuguese coffee, before you hit the road again.

After, continue driving to Benagil Beach.

Benagil Beach & Benagil Cave

Benagil Beach is the meeting point for visiting the world’s famous cave – Benagil Cave. It’s a naturally carved cave with a big eye that allows the sun to shine through the rocks into the small beach and the ocean.

Unfortunately, it’s a popular spot with people and tourists. But still, it’s something you should see once you’re in Algarve.

The best thing you can do is take a boat tour or rent a kayak and visit the Benagil Cave from the ocean. You’ve been enjoying the scenery from the mainland; now it’s time to change and enjoy it from the ocean.

Benagil Cave Speed Boat Tour

Book this boat tour to Benagil Cave and enjoy stunning rock formations with a local guide. Click on the image below to learn more:

Praia Da Marinha

Besides Benagil Cave, explore other spectacular rock formations on the coast and even swim for a while. Or visit some of the beaches around Benagil.

I also highly recommend you go to one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve, Praia da Marinha. I think there is no reason to further explain why. Just look at the photo below. 😀

In the late afternoon, drive back to Portimão. Enjoy your last evening in Portimao, have a delicious dinner, and sleep well.

Tomorrow, we’ll drive to our final destination, which is Faro.

Portugal itinerary 10 days Praia da Marinha
Praia da Marinha

10. DAY: PORTIMAO ⇒ FARO

This marks the end of our 10-day Portugal itinerary. On the last day, take your time and explore Faro, a lively city with nice bars, nightlife, and great excursions.

Make your way from Portimão to Faro by car.

Distance Portimão ⇒ Faro: approx. 53 minutes by car (66 km/41 miles)

Faro

Faro is the perfect place to end our Portuguese trip. Stroll through its tiny streets and enjoy delicious food and drinks in local bars.

The city has been well-known for centuries thanks to its Ria Formosa lagoon, the natural reserve today. Already, past civilizations were interested in the area and established some trade routes around it.

Portugal in October best things to do and see Faro
Faro

In the 8th century, it was taken over by the Moors. You can still admire their architecture and influence in the city. After, the Christians took over and built cathedrals. The city also became the capital of the Algarve during the Christian era.

Sightseeing In Faro

🔅 Arco Da Vila
🔅 Sé Cathedral
🔅 Old Town
🔅 Museum Municipal
🔅 Carmo Church & Bone Chapel

Central Market

I highly recommend checking out the central market, with fresh products such as seafood, fresh bread, cheese, and meat. This is how you experience the authentic life of Portuguese people. Be one of them for a while, go inside the market, have a coffee, and negotiate to buy some local products. It’s great.

🔅 Ria Formosa Tour

In the afternoon, I recommend visiting the natural reserve, Ria Formosa. It’s an area of canals, freshwater lagoonsislands, and marshes.

You can go bird watching, as it has one of Portugal’s most significant concentrations of aquatic birds. In addition, you can take a boat tour and see all kinds of birds.

After, stop at some of the most beautiful beaches and go swimming. Relax and reflect on your Portugal itinerary for a while.

Guided Catamaran Tour To Ria Formosa

Check out this Ria Formosa tour from Faro and explore the region with a local guide. Click on the image below to learn more:

Where To Stay In Faro: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

7 STYLES APARTMENTS
RIA FORMOSA GUEST HOUSE

14-Day Itinerary For Portugal

If you have more time in Portugal, that’s perfect. In this case, I recommend spending a couple more days in northern Portugal (Viana do Castelo) and the Algarve.

So follow the basic 10-day road trip as I designed, and add a few days to these two destinations.

Here is what I recommend visiting on a 14-day itinerary through Portugal:

DAY:DESTINATION:
1.Porto
2.Porto
3.From Porto: Day Trip To Douro Valley
4.From Porto: Day Trip To Viana Do Castello
5.Porto ⇒ Fátima
6.Fátima ⇒ Lisbon
7.Lisbon
8.Lisbon
9.From Lisbon: Day Trip To Sintra
10.Lisbon ⇒ Portimão (Algarve)
11.From Portimão: Day Trip To Carvoeiro & Benagil
12.Portimão (Algarve)
13.Portimão ⇒ Faro
14.Faro

7-Day Itinerary For Portugal

If you have less than 10 days in Portugal, don’t worry. That’s still quite a lot of time to explore its highlights.

In this case, I recommend skipping some places like Fatima and Viana do Castello and visiting the big cities to explore their culture and history + enjoy the beaches in the Algarve.

Here is what I recommend you do if you have less time in Portugal:

DAY:DESTINATION:
1.Porto
2.From Porto: Day Trip To Douro Valley
3.Porto ⇒ Lisbon
4.Lisbon
5.From Lisbon: Day Trip To Sintra
6.Lisbon ⇒ Portimão (Algarve)
7.Portimão (Algarve)

Practical Tips For Traveling Portugal

To help you plan your itinerary further, let me give you more practical tips for your visit. You’ll learn about the best time to visit, how to pack, the safety, and the budget you’ll need for the entire itinerary.

How Many Days In Portugal Do You Need?

10 to 20 days is the perfect time to explore Portugal. 10 days is the minimum when you can visit the highlights.

Portugal is a big country and offers so much. So if you want to visit everything from the north to the south, spend 20 days enjoying it all.

What Are The Best Months To Visit Portugal?

The best months to visit Portugal and make this itinerary are May, June, September, and October. These months are less crowded, and the weather is awesome, yet it’s not too hot.

So visit Portugal during these times as you’ll have the best time. I visited Portugal in September, and everything was perfect. While the big cities such as Porto and Lisbon, or in Algarve, were busy, they get much busier during the summertime. So plan accordingly.

👉 READ ALSO: Portugal In Winter: Best Things To Do & Places To Visit

What To Pack For Your Portuguese Itinerary

Your swimming suit is the most important thing you need to pack for Portugal. You’ll spend time on the beautiful beaches, so it’s a must. Other than that, pack summer clothes, nice dresses, and good sneakers because you’ll walk and explore a lot.

For the Algarve especially, ensure you have good closed shoes as the surface is rocky.

Here are the main clothes I recommend you pack for Portugal:

  • swimming suit
  • small beach bag
  • summer clothes (dresses, shorts)
  • trekking clothes (for Algarve)
  • good closed shoes
  • hat
  • sunscream
  • small backpack for day trips

Do Locals Speak English In Portugal?

Yes, locals speak English well. So you won’t have issues communicating during this itinerary. If you go to remote villages, you might find that people don’t speak English often. But in bigger cities and all touristy areas, everyone speaks English.

PRO TIP: Speak slowly and leave them sometime when talking in English. They need time to find the right words because it’s their foreign language. Be patient.

Safety In Portugal

Portugal is a safe country, so there is nothing you should be worried about. My only safety tip is not to walk alone at night as it might be dangerous.

If you’re concerned about your safety, check out my article about safety in Lisbon. It applies to all other places in Portugal, so you can learn about more safety measures there.

Budget For 10-Day Portugal Itinerary

The budget for a 10-day Portugal itinerary per person (mid-range traveler) is $980. This is a very realistic budget for mid-range travelers who want to stay in nice hotels, rent a car to travel conveniently, and enjoy each location’s activities.

Here is a breakdown of this itinerary budget for each travel category:

Accommodation: $56 per night (on average) in a nice mid-range hotel = $560 (couple)
Rental Car: $135 for 3 days from Porto to Lisbon + $155 for 3 days in the Algarve = $290 (couple)
Transportation: $5 per person – train (return) from Lisbon to Sintra
Food & Drinks: $40 per day for a couple = $400 (couple)
Activities & Attractions: approx $350 per person for 10 days

So the total budget for a 10-day trip to Portugal, without restricting yourself too much and enjoying everything the country offers, is $980 per person.

Budget Breakdown For Each Traveler Type

Here is a quick overview of a budget for every type of traveler:

➡ 10-day itinerary budget for backpackers and travelers on the budget: $550
➡ 10-day itinerary budget for mid-range travelers: $980
➡ 10-day itinerary budget for luxury travelers: up to $2200

NOTE: This is an approximate budget based on my calculations and spending during my 10-day trip to Portugal. The budget will vary based on every traveler’s preferences.

FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Portugal and this itinerary. So check them out. Perhaps they’ll answer your doubts, too.

How Many Days Do You Need For Portugal?

10 to 14 days is the perfect amount of time for Portugal. First, think about the places you want to see, then choose the means of transportation for your trip, and then calculate how much it’ll take you to see all the places. But 2 weeks in Portugal is a lot of time to see everything you want to.

Is 10 days In Portugal Enough?

10 days is the perfect time to spend in Portugal. It gives you enough time to visit the most exciting destinations, relax on beaches in the Algarve, and soak up the atmosphere. So, take my 10-day Portugal itinerary to see the country’s highlights.

What Is The Best Way To See Portugal?

The best way to see Portugal is to rent a car. It’ll give you flexibility, and you’ll get to the places on your itinerary much faster.

Is 2 weeks enough for Spain and Portugal?

No, 2 weeks is not enough time to spend in these two countries. I would plan at least 3 weeks for Spain and Portugal. These countries are big, especially Spain, and offer thousands of things to see and do. So plan more than 2 weeks.

Wrap-Up: Portugal Itinerary 10 Days

This is the ultimate 10-day itinerary for Portugal for you guys. I’ve created it from my experience traveling in Portugal and visiting all the places. With this itinerary, you can be sure not to miss any of the highlights and have a lot of fun.

Make sure to book the guided tours I’ve included in the tour, a boat trip to Benagil Cave and Ria Formosa. If you have any questions, you can always contact me at info(at)voicesoftravel.com.

Happy travels!

voices of travel about me photo

About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

PORTUGAL: Interested in more articles about Portugal?
Check out my Portugal Travel Page:

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